You will never forget your first visit to Berlin’s most famous club. The building that used to house a heating plant is an experience in its own right. Concrete everywhere, the big steel stairs to the main floor, and then the sparse lighting everywhere that hide intimate activities. A darkroom directly adjacent to the dancefloor and one down in the columns foyer, where gays and straights do their thing. It’s not strange photography is forbidden.
Although I don’t want to exclude the possibility that it’s a marketing ploy, to keep the myth alive. Just like the much-discussed door policy reinforces the smell of exclusivity, the feeling of ‘being allowed’ to be there. But that door policy is less arbitrary as is sometimes said: groups of four or more people have less chance of getting in, techno tourists await the same fate, gays, people on their own and couples stand a much better chance. Although there is always the chance that bouncer Sven Marquardt (during everyday life a photographer) and his colleagues don’t let you in without giving you a reason why. And discussing doesn’t really make sense with these guys.
Once you’re inside, the average visitor doesn’t necessarily need to see much of all this hedonism. Berghain is mostly and righteously famous for its minimal techno, that has been refined and finetuned during the famous saturday night-to monday mornings parties into an own distinctive sound by people such as Ben Klock and Marcel Dettmann. The smaller Panoramabar, where during daytime the hatches sometimes open to let some daylight through, usually plays slightly warmer house and also opens on friday nights.